iOS 5 Camera: Volume Shutter, Lock Screen, Remote Triggering

Thursday October 13, 2011 2:47 PM PDT by Jordan Golson
Apple added a number of new features to the camera in iOS 5, as more and more users drop their point-and-shoot digital cameras in favor of the increasingly powerful cameras built-in to smartphones.

For users looking to take pictures quickly, when the phone is locked, simply press the home button twice -- then press the camera icon that appears to be taken directly to the camera. This works even when the phone is locked with a passcode.

Apple's engineers also added a feature that caused Camera+, a popular camera app, to be banned from the App Store for four months. Users of Apple's standard camera application can press the volume-up button to take a snapshot, rather than pressing the shutter button on the touchscreen. This makes the iPhone more like a standard camera, with the shutter release on the top.


Finally, as a corollary to the volume up shutter release, users can also plug in headphones with headphone controls -- like the headphones that are included with the iPhone -- and use the volume up on the headphones as a remote trigger for the camera.

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Posted: 40 months ago
I wish they could make this work with a bluetooth headset as well. THAT would be useful.
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 40 months ago



Just warn your girlfriends when they go to the bathroom if there is an iPhone propped up on the counter with the headphones going somewhere else. There might be a creeper in the other room taking remote pics of them.


As opposed to an iPhone propped up without headphones recording 1080p video?
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 40 months ago
Is there going to be another article on how we can delete individual calls from the call history too?
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 40 months ago


Finally, as a corollary to the volume up shutter release, users can also plug in headphones with headphone controls -- like the headphones that are included with the iPhone -- and use the volume up on the headphones.


So that's how they got so close to the squirrel.
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 40 months ago
Is it just me... I locked the phone then double click the home button which allows me to press the camera button to access the camera without unlocking the phone. If I try to view my pictures, it says that the iPhone is locked and I must unlock it to view pictures. However, simply pressing the home button allows me to go to the main screen without entering my passcode or anything, and allows me full access to the phone!
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 40 months ago

Is there going to be another article on how we can delete individual calls from the call history too?


You can now just swipe any entry to bring up the delete button.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 40 months ago

So that's how they got so close to the squirrel.


lol good thing we all saw the keynote (or the gallery photo) else we'd kinda wonder about that reference ;)
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 40 months ago

I just tried with Instagram, it does not take use of the volume button.

I guess it's fair enough that Apple wants to have this feature exclusively at first. This way they can tweak the API until they are really sure that it works and then release it.

Nevertheless I don't this is a particularly complicated API to make public. I understand that some more complicated API like dictionary or Siri may take a while to mature before releasing it. I don't think that's the case in here.


The feature isn't exclusive to Apple's Camera app. It's part of the API now. If the developer uses the standard UIImagePickerController, the volume button takes a photo.

Some apps like "ShakeItPhoto" now also have volume button support under iOS 5, but I'd guess it just got the feature "automatically" since it's using an unmodified UIImagePickerController.

I'm not sure how Instagram was built, but it may not be using the standard UIImagePickerController.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 40 months ago

So, is the volume button API public now? It's not fair to 3rd party camera apps if it isn't public.


But it's no different that any other feature; Apple gets access to all APIs and can bypass them if it wants, devs only get to use the public ones.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 40 months ago

Well, if there were a self timer on the iPhone, I would NEVER use it unless I'm all by myself in my own room. Why risk having your $650 - $850 piece of equipment taken by a passerby just because you wanted an automatic picture?


If you wanted to make sure that there is absolutely no camera shake, then the timer is a good idea.
Rating: 2 Votes

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